In recent years, the law has been getting more and more specific about consumers legally being allowed or prohibited from deleting their data.
Sometimes, consumers have a privacy concern that makes them want to get rid of their data entirely. When you delete data, you’re also erasing it… right?
Although data deletion and data erasure sound like they would be interchangeable, they actually are distinct terms that relate to different processes and results. If you want to make sure that you’re staying within the letter of the law and doing what you think you’re doing with your data, knowing the difference is key.
Keep reading to learn more about these terms and what they really mean.
What Is Data Deletion?
Data deletion is when you take any type of data, whether it’s a .docx, PDF, or another type of file, and then remove it from the recycle bin. Most people think that clearing the recycle bin on the computer is the same thing as permanent deletion, but there are still ways to get this data back.
The pathway to reach the data is more complex when you remove it from your desktop. It doesn’t completely go away, however, because the data is still somewhere on your hard drive. It doesn’t just vanish forever when you click ‘delete.’
As time goes by, your computer might eventually need that space for files that you are actually using, so it might get completely deleted (erased) eventually. However, this can take a really long time, so you (or someone else) could still potentially access data that has been deleted from your hard drive.
How Is Data Erasure Different?
Erasing data is much more targeted than data deletion because it’s more intentional. You’ll specifically choose data that is on your hard drive to remove, and then you can actually remove it with specialized programs.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of data permanently with no option to recover it, you’ll have to use the right programs and software to erase it entirely from the hard drive. Wiping software will typically overwrite the data that you have on your hard drive with “junk” files that are full of binary code to replace the data that you want to remove.
It’s crucial to work with the pros when you want to get your data erased because they have the right tools and skills to do it correctly. You can get more information about data erasure at https://www.certus.software/en/data-erasure/.
Exploring the Difference: Data Deletion vs Data Erasure
As you can see, data deletion and data erasure might sound like the same thing, but they are different levels of data removal. Data deletion refers to deleting the data off the desktop and leaving it on the hard drive. Data erasure is taking that a step further and eliminating it from the hard drive entirely.
Did you find this content useful? If so, be sure to take a look at some of our other tech topics next.